Going into this years’ All Star Game, Jacob deGrom was seen by many as one of the best-kept secrets in baseball, a potential Cy Young candidate that not many non-New York Mets fans knew about outside of his Rookie of the Year win last year. He was rarely interviewed by the media over the weekend and was not talked about as much as some of his more well-known All Star teammates.
But then deGrom came into pitch and delivered one of, if not the best, All Star Game performances in Mets history.
Coming into the game in the 6th inning, deGrom was the final NL starter to pitch in the game. The game’s starter Zack Grienke gave up a home run but countered with 4 strikeouts. Pirates ace Gerrit Cole came in and did his thing, not allowing a run in an inning of work. World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner got into a jam, but worked his way out of it. Then reigning MVP and late addition Clayton Kershaw gave up 2 runs, not looking good in his inning. Then it was deGrom’s turn.
First up, was A’s catcher Stephen Vogt who, despite some recent struggles, has been one of the games’ best catcher’s this year. He saw three pitches, all strikes, and struck out. Then came MVP candidate Jason Kipnis of the Indians, who also struck out, but was able to work a bll in there. Then came Jose Iglesias of the Tigers’, one of the games’ best defenders at shortstop, who is also having a superb season at the plate. Well after three strikes from deGrom, he also struck out.
10 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 strikeouts. He used one ball the entire inning.
Some were saying that it was the best performance of the night. Pedro Martinez even said that he felt that deGrom could have won MVP had the NL won the game. Some said that deGrom should have won MVP even with the NL loss. Either way, the Angels’ young superstar Mike Trout took home MVP honors for the second year of the row, after hitting a home run, scoring twice, and hustling down the line to avoid a double play in a key spot. So, at least deGrom lost out to a worthy adversary.
Every year, the Mid-Summer Classic provides a couple of moments that are remembered forever. Last year, we had Derek Jeter’s last All Star Game and Mike Trout’s other star performance. But this year, the moment belonged to not only Trout, but Jacob deGrom. Coming one ball away from an Immaculate Inning is no small feat, especially in an All Star Game.
So a tip of the cap to you, Jacob deGrom, for representing the Mets, their fans, New York, and the National League in outstanding fashion. If only they could have scored a few more times.
Here is exactly what Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez said on Twitter about deGrom’s historic performance.